Our area, although a nice area to live in, has an especially difficult
problem with fleas due to our mild winters. While in Southern
California, flea season never really ends, Spring is the time when
fleas really start to return in full strength to “bug” our pets. It is
important to either continue flea control year round, or to at least
restart flea control products by March or April if you stopped using
them during the winter time. Do not let the fleas get out of hand
before your start using the flea products or you can really feel like
you are fighting a losing battle in the flea wars.
Control of fleas can be difficult due to two factors:
When stressed, fleas produce an enzyme that makes it more difficult for
insecticides to kill them.
2. Their life cycle makes it difficult to easily control them.
are not sure which came first, the flea or the egg. We’ll start with
the flea. Over the lifetime of the female flea, she can lay several
hundred eggs. When the eggs hatch, they produce larvae, which spend
their lifetime of one to two weeks on the ground (usually in moist
areas, like the lawn or shady places), in the pet’s bedding or in the
carpet or furniture of your home. After an appropriate amount of time
the larvae spin cocoons which are called pupae. These pupae are nearly
impossible to kill with insecticides and will hatch in from 5 days to 5
weeks, depending on weather conditions. They hatch into small fleas
which grow rapidly into adult fleas. Only the flea stage actually
causes a problem for your pet. Fleas spread disease (such as bubonic
plague) and parasites (like tapeworms) and suck blood (their food)
which can weaken your pet (depending on the number of fleas and the
size and health of the pet). They cause excessive scratching, either
because of the tickling sensation when moving or because of allergic
reactions to their bite.
The cycle is
completed more quickly when it is warm, which is why heat waves seem to
draw fleas out of the woodwork. Actually, the life cycle being speeded
up is what produces more fleas to torment your pet and you.
your pet has a significant flea problem right now, we recommend an
effective flea killing agent like Vectra and the right medication for
the skin condition your pet has. Ask us about the best product for the
condition of your pet.
The next step
is killing the fleas in your pet’s environment to stop them from
causing skin problems for your pet.
New and Improved Products
the development of products that last a month on our pets, we finally
have flea control products that are easy to use, environmentally
friendly and have a very low potential to poison our pets while we are
trying to protect them from fleas. They are used once a month and I
strongly recommend using Vectra.
is very effective at flea control on the pet and in the environment,
and I especially like that it stays in the skin and does not go
systemic. Insectacides that go systemic have the potential for adverse
Do not be fooled by
cheap imitations. Most of the products from pet shops and feed stores
that are being promoted as just as good as Vectra do not have the same
ingredients and are actually insecticides that have the potential to
cause toxic reactions while not being as effective as Vectra.
Vectra is available at Ojai Pet Hospital.
• Lifecare Program
• Immunizations for Dogs
• Immunizations for Cats
• Pet Insurance
• Poison Prevention
• Flea Control & Prevention
• Intestinal Parasites